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Lately, I’ve been learning a bit about economic development and its relationship to economic freedom. I’ve been especially interested in economic nationalism and leftist support for it. A few minutes ago, I found this bit of tripe from a blog more popular than this. It’s not the worst sort of tripe on this matter, of course- but it’s pretty bad. The bit of tripe compares apples (Ecuador) to cucumbers (the U.S. in the 1990s and 1980s), does not adjust for population growth, and uses an improper methodology (Russia does not have a lower GDP per capita than Turkey; always use Purchasing Power Parity in GDP comparisons). In reality, per capita GDP (PPP) growth in Ecuador since 2009 has been slower than in either of the two countries (both of which have commitment to free-market policies) bordering it. The statistics came out less than a day ago and, for some reason, do not include the 1980s.

Also, there seems to be a general pattern. Latin American countries adopt leftist policies. Rightist economists warn they will surely be disastrous in the long run. Latin American countries experience high inflation and debt crisis, thus leading to IMF intervention. Leftists blame IMF intervention for slow growth resulting from debt overhang and failure to absorb traditional economy into the globalized world.